Nerves are high today for one marae that nestles under the trees of the Redwood Forest.

Apumoana Marae will try to prove they deserve the title of the Trustpower National Community Awards Supreme Winner against 25 other organisations and community groups in Tauranga.

After winning the regional competition, representative Heidi Symon said it was humbling to be acknowledged but the reality was there were a lot of whānau and volunteers who made it happen.

"What we do at Apumoana is no different to hundreds of marae around the country but people don't necessarily realise the amount of volunteer time that goes into running a marae.


"It's cool in a way for other marae to be recognised as well, even though it is Apumoana for this nomination it is really something for all marae to be recognised."

The Apumoana Marae Charitable Trust will give an eight-minute presentation sharing their story and their achievements through a short video.

Co-ordinator of Pūwhakamua, a tikanga programme for offenders, Billy Macfarlane said it was always the people that made the marae.

"The people at Apumoana marae are special ... they are always welcoming anyone on to the marae.

"In my opinion that is how a marae is supposed to be so, I think a lot of other marae around the country can take their lead from Apumoana."

Trustpower community and communications advisor Alice Boyd said the Apumoana Marae Charitable Trust stood out in the local awards for their humble, yet powerful response to the needs of their community.

"The maara kai (community garden) they've recently opened invites locals to come and grow their own food, but they say it's more than just growing fruit and veges - it's about self-sustainability.

"Equally as important, it's reconnecting their people to Papatuanuku (Mother Earth) and teaching the younger generation about their cultural identity through living off the land."

"Having observed the increase of homelessness in Rotorua, they also opened their doors to help some of the most vulnerable members of their community feel welcome and safe."

Attending the Trustpower National Community Awards from the Apumoana Marae Charitable Trust will be Heidi Symon and kaumatua Bob Te Aonui, along with Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick.